U.S. House Judiciary Committee passes bill targeting TikTok, raises national security concerns

By Esther Muhozi
On 14 March 2024 at 12:09

The House Judiciary Committee of the United States on the 13th of March 2024 passed a bill targeting the social media platform TikTok owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Representative Mike Gallagher sponsored the bill, stating that its aim is to address concerns over national security posed by TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, a company based in China.

Last week, Members of the House Commerce and Energy Committee introduced the bill unanimously, all 50 showing their desire for bipartisan support, hoping that the United Nations will endorse it, as it would then become an international law.

Following the committee vote, Representative Frank Pallone remarked that once the bill becomes law, Americans may be prohibited from using TikTok, and measures could be taken to censor it.

He said, "This bill will enable action against TikTok and allow Americans to continue using other platforms without fear of being manipulated or censored by foreign adversaries."

It is expected that if this bill becomes law, ByteDance will be forced to sell TikTok within three months, or risk having the platform banned in the United States.

ByteDance insists that despite what the representatives claim, TikTok will not be banned, as the purpose of this bill is to regulate it.

They said, "This bill will have implications for regulating TikTok in America. The government risks depriving 170 million Americans of their rights under the First Amendment to freely express themselves."

The company suggests that if this bill becomes law, they will seek legal action against the U.S. government’s attempt to regulate TikTok, but the State Department has indicated it will not yield.

After passing the House of Representatives, the bill will now move to the Senate, where President Joe Biden is expected to support it once it reaches his desk for signing into law.